They are only things

  • The Nazis killed approximately six million Jews in WWII.
  • Stalin killed between nine and twenty-two million people. The numbers vary, depending what kind of historian you ask.
  • The Darfur genocide, first but certainly not the last of the twenty-first century, has been estimated at 300.000 deaths in 2013. The numbers have grown since then.

This is a part of the depressing list of forty plus genocides carried out only in the twentieth century up to date. This is a time span of one-hundred and eighteen years. Sounds like nothing, don’t you agree? Everybody who has confronted himself with these atrocities will eventually ask himself how is this even possible? I mean, there are psychopaths who are capable of killing tens of people without remorse. We read and see this all the time in the news if we want to or not.

Genocide on the other hand, is altogether a completely different animal. Not all people involved in a genocide can be psychopaths. Take the holocaust as example, neither Germans nor Austrians are predominantly psychopaths but they carried out a genocide with clinical perfection.

I know that whole generations of psychologists, sociologists and psychiatrists were and probably still are looking for the reasons why “normal” humans are capable of such atrocities.

There are humans who are mentally completely healthy, they are married, have children, love them, and go to work and then order humans to be killed.

I did not have an answer to the how until I met that woman two years ago. I met her through an internet partner search and we hit it off right from the beginning. Despite both being over fifty and well-schooled in the darker experiences of life, we found our sweet spot and were happy with each other. First dark clouds appeared on the horizon when we realized that we had different political views. She was a conservative on the verge of being right-wing-ish while I am a man of the middle. Still, we both respected the opinions of each other until one evening we sat together with her grown-up daughter having dinner. I think we were talking about Trump and the new policy he wanted to implement concerning transgender people in the Army. Somehow, we changed the subject from transgender to homosexuals and she said: “These things (meaning homosexuals and such) have no right to live in our society. Just put them away.”

I was so shocked by her opinion, I cut ties with her that night. You might say, that this is maybe too harsh? Well, I am a humanist and we were talking about human beings.

It took me quite a long time to understand that she “objectified” humans who did not fit her bill. She used the words “these things” and not “these humans” or “these people”, no, she used the word “things” on purpose. Now, how can you call a human a thing? In her eyes these humans were no humans but things. Putting away things, killing things, deporting things, nothing to worry about, right? Right!

For the past two years, every time I read about the inhumane ways of the nationalists, I had to think about this woman until I made the connection. This is the way nationalists can live with the atrocities they commit today.

They objectify humans, transforming them to things.

How else is it explainable what the European nationalists and Trump’s gang, not to mention the other sick puppies all over the world, are capable of doing? Ripping innocent children from their parents. Criminalizing migrants and refugees. Let humans vegetate in camps for years until they lose all hope. Send minorities back into countries where they are objectified and prosecuted all over again.

Mind you, I do not compare the Nazis or Stalin to our nationalists, I try to find the differences, believe me. I found one — I think — our nationalists blow Putin for whatever reason. Nazis and other old school nationalists would not have done that.

Refugees and migrants are humans who flee from their home, their country and language they know, into the big unknown. Mostly they have to start all over again, learn a new language, live in a foreign culture, and accept foreign values and rules. Who would do something so crazy and downright dangerous? Yes, humans who have no chance, no future and mostly nothing to eat in their own fucking country. I believe, one has to be pretty desperate to leave his home country.

Most humans understand what kind of predicaments migrants and refugees are living under. We are all aware that the “industrialized” countries can’t afford to keep all war-, economic-, and climate-refugees and migrants. But and here is the thing, the “industrialised” countries, namely Europe, United States and some Arabian countries are rich enough to afford a humane and temporary integration of these people. We could even profit economically but we don’t. We treat them like dirt.

There are probably around thirty percent of our population who are nationalists and even more who can “objectify” humans. I should be relieved that these people are not psychopaths but somehow this knowledge does not make it any better.

On the other hand, now I understand what’s the difference between them and me. I see humans as humans, no matter their color, gender, sexual orientation or origin. Thank God!

In case you want to ask, I am a human being living on the third planet of a solar system consisting of eight to nine planets (we are still searching for one very elusive planet) in a galaxy consisting of billions of solar systems. Our current cosmic vision reveals about two trillion galaxies.

PS: One more thing, the concept of nations and borders is severely overrated. I “believe” humans on the other side of the border do the same things we do.

PPS: I left religious extremists out of this article because those are even more incomprehensible.

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